Karachi uplift package

ADDRESSING a press conference in Karachi, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced an extraordinarily big financial package of Rs.1.1 trillion for the transformation this long neglected “Greater Metropolitan” city, which is the financial hub of the country. On the contrary over the years, it received the worst deal in terms of allocation for urban planning and development, even after the transfer of more financial resources from the federation to the federating units under 7th NFC Award.
The expansion and improvement of civic amenities for the 30 million citizens of Karachi had remained out of priorities list since 2008. The unbridled encroachments and scourge of China Cutting under political patronage further compounded the woes of the dwellers of this rendered orphan city. The natural calamity in the shape of heavy monsoon rains and subsequent devastating urban flooding hit alike both the poor and elite, living in the posh localities like Clifton and Defence Housing localities. The urban flooding brought into national focus the dilapidated drainage and sewerage system of the city in addition to the ragtag transmission and distribution infrastructure of Karachi Electric Supply Company, which has always claimed precious human lives in rains.
Judicious and on time utilisation of allocation under Karachi transformation package is most essential. Like other provinces, the capacity issues of line departments and local government institution in Sindh is an open fact, whereas implementation of the package on war footing is inevitable. The provincial line departments would certainly need expertise and services of nation building departments of the federal government. In the past any serious effort for the uplift of Karachi by the federal government was misconstrued and labeled as interference in the provincial autonomy and attempt to scrap the 18th Amendment. This sort of political mantra needs to be abandoned as greater coordination is required between the federal and Sindh government for the implementation of the historic financial package announced by the Prime Minister.